A little girl took a walk
to see her new neighborhood
for the first time.
She immediately noticed that everything was ugly.
No matter how newly-painted the houses were,
or how clean the cars were,
they were ugly underneath their fixings.
A little boy saw her walking
and decided to scare her silly.
He got some mud on his hands
and walked up behind her with it.
He rubbed and rubbed her hair with it;
he waved his muddy fingers through it.
The girl was not scared at all,
but she faked surprise
and faked her scared screams,
and this happened every day
again and again,
and she got tired of it.
She walked out of her neighborhood,
and down to the lake,
where there were flowers everywhere:
pretty flowers, gorgeous flowers,
and they whispered, "Darling, you're beautiful.
You deserve flowers as beautiful as we
to fashion into a necklace
and drape over your shoulders."
She remembered her dandelion
sitting in her cup at home,
and these flowers did seem much prettier.
She did agree that maybe she needed
to complement her beauty.
The little girl saw an old, log house
and it looked so interesting.
She saw a window that she could peek through,
and she knew that she shouldn't spy,
but she was too curious not to.
She looked through that window
and saw nothing worth looking at,
but she returned every day,
assuming that there must be something
neat in there
if she looked at just the right time.
She went to her best friend's house
(she loved her best friend very much)
and they sat and played with bugs
for a little while,
not doing much,
when a pretty girl with a rich daddy
and a big house with lots of toys
asked her to go to her house and play.
The little girl told her best friend
that her mom called her home,
but it was a lie.
She went to the rich girl's house
and played with so many toys,
but it wasn't fun anyway.
The little girl had a diary,
and she named it Janie.
She wanted to tell Janie everything in the world,
but she was afraid that Janie would be mad,
so the little girl only told Janie what she wanted to hear
and kept everything else locked up inside her head-box,
which was the little girl's way of saying "self."